Sometimes, you accidentally buy something before it hits the street date, and you get bragging rights with all of your friends. In the case of one Magic: The Gathering streamer, obtaining a box of cards early landed him in hot water with one of the most infamous private security companies in the world.
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You probably know about Pinkerton if you’ve paid any attention in American history class (or at least played Red Dead Redemption 2). They were founded as a private detective agency, and its agents made history as effective strikebreakers against unions and organized labor. Now that most cities have a public police force to intimidate workers, Pinkerton was forced to diversify into other forms of work. Including the seizure of Magic: The Gathering booster boxes, it seems.
A YouTuber known as Dan “Oldschoolmtg” Cannon claimed that he was shooting videos on Saturday morning when Pinkerton agents arrived at his private residence. His dogs started barking at something, and his wife answered the door. “[Pinkerton agents] came knocking on the door to ‘recover’ the stolen product for Wizards of the Coast, which was the March of the Machine Aftermath stuff,” he said in his video about the raid (emphasis his).
March of the Machine: The Aftermath is an upcoming 50-card MtG card set that is set to release on May 12 this year. It’s intended to be a supplement to the March of the Machine expansion, which came out last Friday. The streamer intended to purchase the publicly available expansion set, but somehow received the supposedly unreleased Aftermath set instead.
Cannon didn’t think that his trading card dealer had intentionally broken the street date, or that anyone involved had dealt with stolen product. “What I believe happened is that the names are too similar, March of the Machine and March of the Machine Aftermath, and somebody screwed up and sent the wrong cases.” He noted that his card dealer was “more of a Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! guy,” and probably sold them thinking they were the collector’s edition. I’m just hoping that his card dealer didn’t also get Pinkerton agents sent to his door, too.
Kotaku reached out to Cannon and WotC. A spokesperson for WotC confirmed over email that the private detectives had been sent as “part of their investigation.”
In his video, Cannon explains that the agents asked him to call WotC to clear up the incident. “The gentleman there was very nice and very apologetic about making my wife cry first thing in the morning—by sending the heavy-duty lawmen coming to collect stuff. And talk about stolen products and jail time,” he said. “I don’t know if they believed that anybody stole anything or if it was just an accident. But they wanted the product back so they could figure out where the hole was. He did apologize and they know they took a lot of stuff that we had paid a lot of money for. They did say they would compensate us a little by sending us some other product.”
The Pinkerton employees on the other hand, were less cordial to the YouTuber. Cannon told Kotaku over email that they had threatened to get the county sheriff involved if he did not return the MtG cards. They cited statures with punishments such as a $200,000 fine and up to a decade of jail time.
Wow. I feel like this guy deserves a lot more than a few booster boxes after WotC used literal Pinkerton agents to intimidate his family. If the detectives knew where the man lived, they could have at least sent a sternly worded letter first. Several YouTube commenters felt similarly, and added that the toy company had probably been “nice” when he called them because he had the grounds for a lawsuit.
Cannon seemed to be cooperative with WotC. He asked reposters to take down any clips or screenshots of his Aftermath pack-opening video, which he’d removed from his account at the company’s request.
“They apologized for going through the drastic means of sending Pinkertons to my front door,” he said.
Update 4/25/2023 at 12:35 p.m. ET: The story has been amended with a statement from Cannon.